Friday, May 21, 2010

Day 3 - In Addis

Today was a great time with the Norwood's. We had an awesome breakfast at their place (the fresh fruit was delicious) and then they took us all over the city for the day. We had lunch at a great little restaurant even though the power was out. Our stomachs were a little uneasy so we played it safe and had pasta. Macchiatos at Kaldid's followed...a tradition that we enjoyed every much.
We experienced the driving that we'd heard so much about. It's hard to describe really but I guess you could compare it to shuffling dominoes. Everyone goes where ever they want all over the road, there are no stop signs, people can just stop in the middle of the road and turn around or drive on the wrong side of the road. They use side view mirrors, not to see out of so much as a buffer for the car next to you. If you touch mirrors then you know you need to move over a bit. Not only do they have to dodge other drivers but they also have to dodge all of the people walking in the streets along with their herds of goats, donkeys and cattle.
You hear horns honking all the time and it's a way to let others know you're going to pass or to warn the people to get out of the way. You'd think in all of the madness that tempers would flare like they do here in America but it's not like that. They don't yell and cuss at each other or any of the rude things we do here. It's just the way things are done there and everyone knows it and is used to it. I thought I'd be more afraid of the driving but really after the first day I was pretty used to it. I knew we'd stop before we hit the car in front of us or beside us so I just sat back and enjoyed the ride!

We visited a leprosy rehabilitation hospital and bought a couple of handmade items from the patients there. They had beautiful scarves, bags, clothes, etc all made by hand.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Travel day 1 & 2

We loaded up and headed to the airport at 8am Wednesday. Nerves kicked in as we got closer and closer. We couldn't believe it was finally time to go! After Ben's parents dropped us off, we settled in for our long flight (24 hours total). We met up with another AWAA family (the Heddelsons) in Washington and were so glad to have some travel buddies as we navigated customs and getting our visas once in Ethiopia. We left Texas Wednesday morning and arrived in Ethiopia at 7:30pm Thursday night. We were exhausted!! The flights were bumpy and cramped and we were a bit concerned about the ride home. How would we entertain a baby on a plane for so long?! The food was pretty good though and there was so much of it we couldn't finish any of it. They gave us socks, pillows and blankets and we took some dramamine to try and sleep.

Plane from Dallas to Washington

Ethiopian flag in Washington Airport

Our plane to Ethiopia!

Stopping in Rome to refuel


We had about an hour layover in Rome to refuel but we weren't able to get off the plane so we just sat and waited for the last leg of the flight. Our friends, the Norwoods, met us at the airport when we arrived and it was so great to see some familiar faces! As we were leaving there were people everywhere! It was so late and yet the airport was packed. Apparently in Ethiopia when someone is coming home there is a BIG celebration. There were people singing and playing drums, dancing and clapping as they greeted their family members. This went on all the way out to our car. It was a pretty cool experience. So much joy and it made us excited about the journey about to begin. We drove to Travis and Joanna's house and settled in for the night. Sleep was hard to come by. We kept waking up thinking surely it was time to get up but no, it had only been and hour or two. This would take some getting used to. A fun day of experiencing the city of Addis was on the agenda for tommorrow and we were excited.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

It's Time To Go!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It's here. It's really truly here. It's time to go get our precious little boy. It's been a long journey but it's been an amazing time of growing in our faith and trust in Christ and being able to see His plan come together for our family. We have learned a lot during this time of waiting; a lot about the character of God and a lot about ourselves. We know that He has ordained adoption and His timing is absolutely perfect.

I think about meeting our son and I'm filled with so many different thoughts and emotions. Will he be scared of me or will he smile at me. Will he struggle terribly with leaving his nannies and friends. Will I be able to be there for him in the way that he needs me. I want to teach him to be proud of where he's from and who he is and support him when he grieves and mourns. I think about this sweet child who has already suffered so much loss in such a short time and my heart breaks for him. I'm excited to see his personality, see what interests he has, watch him grow and see the man he becomes. God definitely has a plan for him and I can't wait to see what that is! My heart swells and overflows with love for this boy I've never met and oh how I want him to know that love.

We have been so blessed by everyone's love, prayers and support throughout this journey and are so thankful for all of the wonderful people God has brought into our lives to minister to us in many different ways through this adoption. We love and appreciate all of you. I can't believe that in 6 days we'll get to see Bereket face to face and hold him in our arms!!!!!!

We are so excited to bring baby Bear home and for him to get to experience all of the love that we know you are going to lavish upon him. He has no idea what he’s in for but we’ll start to break him in while we’re there!

We leave at 11:45am in the morning and will arrive in Addis Ababa at 7:00pm Thursday. Our return flight leaves Addis Friday night,5/14, and we arrive back home Saturday 5/15, at 4:30 (Delta Flight # 2111).